20th Anniv. Bahama Questions

Aug 9th, 2007, 01:07 PM
  #1  
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20th Anniv. Bahama Questions

I am researching destinations for our anniversary in early November.We're very interested in the Bahamas as we've never been to the Caribbean.
I'm a bit worried about the water temps. We love to snorkel/swim and would hate to not be able to do that because of cold water.
Just bought a guide book and wow...some of these places sound fantastic but are not easily reached.
We prefer a quiet vacation away from crowds with the option of eating a couple of meals out.
Our trip length will be 5-7 days (we have little ones at home).
I'm open to recommendations for something beautiful, easy to get to (from Houston)
warm, with good snorkeling.
Eleuthera sounds heavenly but pretty complicated to reach. We ruled out St. John because of the long travel time.
Thanks for any help or suggestions.
beckster is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 01:21 PM
  #2  
 
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Bahamas could be a little chilly or just right depending on what you consider "cold" as that is a relative term.

What is your departure airport? Let us know so we can help get you to a warm and sunny destination!
BeachGirl247 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Early November in the Bahamas is just about ideal in terms of weather -- in fact, the first week of November is the week I've chosen to travel to Cat Island or the Abacos the last 4 years. (And lemme tell ya, I am a cold water wuss!) Hurricane season is winding down (but get trip insurance anyway), while the high season is slowly beginning to gear up. The water is still warm from the long, hot summer; and the air temperature seems to hover at a delicious 78 degrees day and night.

You're not likely to get to a lot of places in the Bahamas other than mass-market destinations directly from Houston, but if you can easily get to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale, you're just one more hop away from even some of the more remote Out Islands. I think that Continental has a big presence in Houston, and it conveniently code shares with Gulfstream (aka Continental Connection), which will take you from FLL to a lot of places -- including the Abacos, Eleuthera (both Governor's Harbour and North Eleuthera, which is the jumping-off point for Harbour Island), Cat Island, Andros, etc. Check out http://gulfstreamair.com/.
Callaloo is offline  
Aug 9th, 2007, 05:46 PM
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Thanks for the replies.
Today I have done alot of reading on Abacos and Continental will take us there with one connection for a reasonable price.
Callaloo,
what can you tell me about Abacos? We're looking to book 11/10-11/17. I'm thinking about Hopetown.
beckster is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 03:33 AM
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When I get a hankering to go to the islands (which is, oh, about every 30 seconds or so...), Abaco is one of my top choices, and Hopetown (Elbow Cay) is where I would base myself.

First of all, if you haven't already, be sure to visit two superb forums which focus on the Abacos: www.abacomessageboard.com and www.abacoforum.com. Also, you can visit my personal webpage, which has 3 of my 5 Abaco trips chronicled, with photos: www.homestead.com/islandtime/MainPage1.html. My trips were sailing trips, but we visit a lot of the spots I would recommend to you (plus, I've also been land-based).

What's wonderful about the Abacos is that that they are totally laid-back and remote-feeling, yet are relatively easy to reach. The whole island chain is oriented towards the water and the remarkable beaches. Hopetown is a very pretty little town of candy-colored houses, arranged around a nearly landlocked harbor the centerpiece of which is its red-striped lighthouse. A narrow bit of land separates the harbor from the ocean and a miles-long strand of pink-tinged beach, which is one of many such beaches in the Abacos. In Hopetown, you can rent a cottage or villa, or stay at Hopetown Harbour Lodge, which is conveniently located on the beach but steps away from town. In town, there are several restaurants and shops.

If you are at all facile with boats, you can do as many other visitors do and rent a boat to allow you to island hop to the other wonderful cays; if not, you can use the reliable and regular ferries, but that's not as convenient. You might also consider renting a golf cart for a few days to explore Elbow Cay itself. There are two nice (small) resorts in the White Sound area, which are good for lunch or dinner or drinks (or staying at, but I'd recommend an in-town location). Further south, at the tip of Elbow Cay, is Tahiti Beach -- so named for the stands of palms which fringe a white sand beach.

For snorkeling, you can -- in settled conditions -- snorkel the barrier reef just off the ocean beach. If you rent a boat, you can reach one of the many snorkel spots (including marine parks) in the Abacos -- most of which are outlined in the indispensible "bible" -- the Dodge crusing guide (www.wspress.com), which I suggest you get even if you don't rent a boat. Also, there are a number of good dive shops (Froggy's Out Island Adventures in Hopetown, for one) which arrange excursions.

Let me know if I can tell you any more, and good luck planning your milestone anniverary.
Callaloo is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Callaloo...

Thanks for the wonderful information. I'm looking no further that the Abacos. It will suit all our needs. We prefer Gilligans Island sort of vibe so we'll be very happy there.
Island hopping will be such a joy and the water looks magnificent in every way. I've saved your message and have already looked further into your recommended forums.
I appreciate your kind help so much!
beckster is offline  
Aug 10th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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Beckster, apologies for missing the "Houston" part of your post. That's what happens when you take a quick peak reading Fodors! Sorry.

Callaloo, glad to hear your experience during November. Looking for Abaco this year (if buying our house falls into place.) You always offer such great information for us here and on your website! You've been so many times and can offer us a lot of helpful info. Thanks.

Love Abacos when we stayed at Treasure Cay and ventured to Green Turtle Cay and Great Guana. I can see this becoming a repetitive trip to these and the other islands in Abacos.

BeachGirl247 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 05:07 AM
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Just wanted to complement Callaloo on the excellent description of Hopetown/Abacos. Anyone who is remotely interested in going there ought to bookmark this thread.

Beckster, have fun making your plans. We loved Elbow Cay (stayed there with another couple and did all the things Callaloo describes). Definitely a Gilligan's island vibe too! Funny way of putting it!
joan is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 07:30 AM
  #9  
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Thanks again...
I highly recommend the specific forums listed above as there is a massive amount of information from the locals.
Who knew November would be low-season and so affordable!
beckster is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 09:41 AM
  #10  
 
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I was searching for answers to the very same question and find that we are planning on the Abaco's for the same week - Nov 10 - 17. This is our first trip and we are staying on Lubbers Quarters just a short boat ride from Elbow Cay. Our findings are that the water is still warm from summer but may feel cool to some that are used to the Gulf bathwater.
This thread has been helpful to me in finding out more about the islands.
Callaloo's trip reports are great - Thanks for sharing the links. I do love the forums as they locals or past visitors talking about their experiences - not some travel brochure.
Maybe we will run into each other at Nippers at the Sunday Pig Roast and get the feeling of knowing someone there.
Hope you have a great trip!
RYLEE is offline  

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